China real estate developer Landing International in partnership with Genting Hong Kong had operated Hyatt Regency Jeju on Jeju Island in South Korea. However, the Jeju casino did not perform as well as per initial estimates until the owners decided to change their marketing strategy and focus on attracting gamblers from Mainland China.
This strategy proved to be a great success as Landing International has confirmed that its Jeju casino is no longer in the red and in fact had increased its revenue over sixteen times during the last six months when compared to the same period in 2014. Landing International is now in the process of buying out its partner Genting Hong Kong and will continue to push its strategy of wooing gamblers from Mainland China.
Jeju Casino has been successful in bringing in loads of Chinese gamblers because Jeju island is located just 60 minutes away from Shanghai and 2.5 hours away from the capital Beijing. South Korea’s government has also been very welcoming of Chinese tourists and has made Jeju Airport visa free for Chinese nationals. The government has also implemented a policy that allows foreigners to apply for permanent residency if they can show ownership of property valued at over $420,000.
Landing is confident that its Jeju casino business will continue to grow at a rapid pace as the collapse of Macau’s casino industry and the rise in Chinese tourism in South Korea will continue to bring hoards of gamblers into the Jeju casino.
Landing International issued a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange to justify its buyout of Genting Hong Kong. In a statement, Landing said “This signifies the success of Jeju Casino’s change of customer focus and marketing strategy and the strengthened managerial and professional support after the rebranding in January 2015. It also reflects the growing potential of the Jeju Casino attributable mainly to the growing tourism and foreign investments in Jeju Province, especially the soaring number of Chinese tourists to Jeju, which increased by 58 percent to 2.9 million in 2014.”
Landing decided to buy out Genting in July 2015 and has offered its partner HK$864 million which is around $111.5 million. Genting has agreed to sell because it wants to focus on its cruise business and Landing will take over Jeju casino 100% and also benefit completely from all gambling revenue.